Burlington County Commissioners celebrate red ribbon winners

Six young artists were selected as winners of this year’s Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest.

Special to The Sun: County commissioners present certificates of recognition on Dec. 8 to winners of the 2021 Burlington County Red Ribbon Poster Contest. Pictured are Commissioner Linda Hynes (from left), with winners Sean Pelletier, Reyna Enright, Ryon Senthill and Ioanna Moustakas, as well as Coordinator Samantha Martine, of Prevention Plus, a nonprofit that focuses on county families, and its community relations Director Joe Conlin.

The Burlington County Commissioners recognized the creativity and talent of six young artists whose substance-free posters were selected as the winners of this year’s Red Ribbon Week Poster Contest.

The winners were selected from more than 300 submissions by students from across the county. All submissions were displayed at Rowan College at Burlington County on Oct. 26 and Oct. 27 and judged by the college’s students.

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This year’s poster contest theme was “Drug Free Looks Like Me” and was open to students in grades three through 12.

The selected winners were:

  • Jolene Costley, Marlton Middle School in Evesham, seventh grade;
  • Ioanna Moustakas, Harrington Middle School in Mount Laurel, seventh grade;
  • Ryon Senthill, Hartford Road School in Mount Laurel, sixth grade;
  • Sean Pelletier, Olsen Middle School in Tabernacle, seventh grade;
  • Kiela Lobada, Olsen Middle School in Tabernacle, sixth grade;
  • Reyna Enright, Bobby’s Run School in Lumberton, fifth grade.

“Educating our youth about the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco is as important as ever,” said Burlington County Commissioner Linda Hynes Wednesday during a Board recognition ceremony for the winners. “Last year, more than 160 people died in Burlington County from suspected drug overdoses and our county’s first responders administered overdose antidote Narcan more than 770 times. We are battling a severe health crisis and ending it begins with prevention and education, and this poster contest is a great example of how to reach our county’s youth. It entices hundreds of children to think creatively about substance-free messages and how best to communicate them.”

Burlington County has organized the poster contest annually for over a decade as part of Red Ribbon Week, the largest and longest-running drug-use and violence prevention campaign in the country. It was started in 1988 by the National Family Partnership and has become a catalyst for communities to come together and enjoy fun, substance-free activities.

Hynes, who was named the 2021 Member of the Year by Prevention Plus of Burlington County and the Burlington County Coalition of Healthy Communities, said Red Ribbon Week continues to create greater awareness about drug abuse and prevention strategies.

“Red Ribbon Week helps us engage children and their peers in fun activities that can highlight the benefits of a healthy, substance-free lifestyle,” Hynes said. “It’s a great campaign and our County will continue to work with groups like Prevention Plus to educate our children about the importance of making healthy choices.”

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